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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Us 30, Afghanistan 23, Pakistan 20, Bob Woodward 17, Obama 16, America 15, New York 13, Washington 12, Illinois 12, Minnesota 9, Lawrence O'donnell 9, New York City 9, Lawrence 8, Joe 7, United States 7, Bill Clinton 7, Florida 6, Chicago 6, Panetta 6, Tim Pawlenty 6,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    September 29, 2010
    6:00 - 8:59am EDT  

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show what you're doing awake at this hour. our producer has answer >> skip says i was watching this morning to morning to forget my toothache. after that levi johnson interview, i feel worse. >> that was painful. >> kelly says i'm a wisconsin badger. thanks for knowing our campus is one of the best places on earth. >> my sister libby geist went to wisconsin madison. i visited many times and many times wished i had gone there. see you at the kk. "morning joe" starts right now. i'm a christian by choice. my family didn't -- frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. so i came to my christian faith later in life.
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and it was because the precepts of jesus christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that i would want to lead. being my brothers and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me. >> welcome to "morning joe." good morning. it seems like we go on -- just like nonstop telethon. it's doing good. >> spinning plates in the corner for the next couple minutes. what do you think? the president was just to set people up and let him know what happened. he was at one of these back yard meetings, town hall meetings and a lady asked a couple of tough questions. one was tell us about your faith. the other was will you eat one of my husband's red hot chilli peppers. >> i think he's been trying to
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do what we've been talking about which is connect and on different levels where there are questions, he's going there. that connection with the woman on the economy the other day, still sort of reverberates today because it was a seminal moment for this president and this country in terms of how people feel. he's putting himself out there. i commend him for it. i think it's hard for him. >> i think it's very hard for him. you can tell with him answering that question. >> i read the "times" story. as a guy who grew up in a southern baptist church. my parents took me there in the morning. they made me go to training union at night even when the super bowl was on. we were there wednesday night. we were there friday night. i grew up in an evangelical culture. i see you smirking wondering what happened to me. so i look through that statement, and when he says things like, jesus died for my
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sins, i'm saved by god's salvation, that's about as definitive as you can get. at this point if jack as out there question his faith, they're just haters. >> first of all, i was relieved at the way the question was asked of the president. why are you a christian? not are you, but why are you a christian? that to me was a relief. secondly, you can tell in his answer t way he answered it because our faith, all of us is such an inherently private thing, he is a private person when it comes to his faith. he was kind of halting as he explained why he is a christian. but he explained it and these knuckleheads out there who continue this assault based on faith, you're right, joe, let's just stop this. we have far more important concerns in this country. >> glenn beck has been one of those knuckleheads, using mike's
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words -- >> not a christian word. >> could be worth. >> if you go back to the original greek transcript of sermon on the mount, knuckleheads is used there. glenn beck said his faith is a communal faith and this and that or the other, some gibberish to suggest that barack obama doesn't understand what being a christian means. what being a christian means according to just about every thee loej an i've heard, certainly from an evangelical background is you believe jesus christ is your savior, you believe that you are a sinner, that you fall short every day and that you were saved by the grace of god. i don't bring that up as a sermon. i bring that up to say that what barack obama defined yesterday in that back yard is as
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mainstream, angelical a definition of what being a christian is as i have ever heard. i would like glenn beck now to go on his show tonight at 5:00 and explain why he's a christian. and i don't think there will be a one-upmanship here. i don't hold religious show trials like glenn beck and other people on the far right are holding of barack obama right now. i think true christian faith, true christian charity accepts this man's word and goes on to something else and creates a new false controversy. >> i agree. and i think the president's thought over the last several months has been i don't have to prove my faith to these idiots. it turns out, perhaps he did. so we saw him go to church a couple weeks ago. he addressed his faith in a big press conference earlier this month. and now an answer to that question yesterday. so he is going out and being more open, talking about his
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faith. >> was that offensive? again, to set this up, this wasn't anything cynical. the lady asked him the question. >> i thought it was a good question, too. >> it was a good question. nothing offensive. >> it's a question i would feel comfortable answering if someone asked me. given all the ridiculous questions this president has been faced with pertaining to this issue, that was a good one and he took it on fairly. dr. jeffrey sachs is with us now. >> good to have you here. >> we have mayor michael bloomberg coming on the show. bob woodward is going to be talking about his new book, and governor tim pawlenty is back on the show this morning. that should be fun, a great lineup this morning, among many others. >> what did we learn at the united nations this past week, dr. sachs? >> it was interesting because this is of course the most cynical age we've ever passed through. there were good things
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happening. actually a little compassion in the world and more children are being saved from disease than ever before. and the u.n., which is widely scorned, is doing good work. that's what last week was about. largely ignored, but 140 world leaders showed up and there was a lot of good news. >> that's great. >> measles, malaria, other diseases coming under control. americans ought to know about it a little bit more, frankly, because these are places when these diseases aren't controlled, we end up fighting in. these are the poorest places in the world. they turn out to be the terror zones, the war zones, and there's actually some progress of a much disspiced institution in this country. it's doing a lot of good. >> ahmadinejad grabbed the headlines, but good work being done. did you see the new poll out that might give democrats a reason to hope?
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>> a new nbc news "wall street journal" poll is shedding light on what americans think. here is what it is. a majority, 59% say the country is headed in the wrong direction. 32% say the u.s. is on the right track. with that in mind, 46% of likely voters believe republicans should control congress compared to 43% who favor democrats. the gop's three-point advantage is within the margin of error and represents a smaller gap than last month when republicans held a nine-point advantage over democrats. as far as what voters want to change, 75% say they want to see a reduction in special interest influence. 70% want to elect political outsiders, even if they are inexperienced, and 54% want the tea party to bring more fiscal conservatism to the republican party, and 54% also want to see the repeal of the health care reform bill. >> wow. >> asked whether the tea party
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is good for politics, 42% of those polled said yes. just 18% said it's a bad thing. when it comes to president obama's job performance, 49% disapprove of the work he's doing. 46% approve. more americans have positive feelings toward, and here we go, president bill clinton than president obama. sarah palin has a favorability rating of 30%, higher than that of house sneaker nancy pelosi who rated 22%. >> a lot of news to digest there, mika. what's your takeaway on that? >> i think the bill clinton numbers are not surprising. you see him traveling around the country stumping for candidates whose elections are in jeopardy. i think people are discouraged with the state of this country. as a result, obama, whether it's fair or not, takes the heat for that, and his numbers hurt compared to the former
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president. otherwise, not surprising. >> mike, the gap is narrowing between republicans and democrats, but that right track/wrong track still is in a bad, bad place for incumbents. >> i don't think these poll numbers bear out something i felt for a long time. we have really not adjusted to -- psychologically or in reality, the way we've covered this situation, the traumatic effect of the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2009 in terms of people's 401k. ordinary working americans seeing what they thought was going to be their retirement incomes disappear. ordinary working americans seeing so many of the people who live alongside them losing their jobs and now live being the fear of perhaps we will lose our jobs. i think that is the right track/wrong track that has it on the downhill slide. >> jeffrey sachs. i never realized it, you're a tea partyer. what is taken from this poll, it
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seems to me, is the tea party is now defined as a movement to reduce the dead. its numbers are really good. >> i think the thing that almost all americans agree on is special interests are too powerful, and this i think is where the administration also doesn't hold up in one sense, which is that special interests are everywhere. it's both parties. it's not one or the other. and the american people know it and they're very unhappy about it. it doesn't give them much place to turn. maybe the tea party rejection of all government is one reaction. i don't think it's a rational reaction because we're not doing very well with the poorly performing government. we'll do even worse with no government. but it is a reaction that both parties are enthralled. to wall street, that's clear. to the health care industry, to everything. all the little reform steps that
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have been taken have been negotiated with those interests. everybody knows it. that's what's so painful, i think. it's bipartisan. that's the fruft registration. that's what the polls show. >> it's also a reaction of the tea party, a reaction to massive deficits, massive debt. and i was joking saying you're a tea partyer. you have been warning about that for some time. obviously some tea party members are going to get elected. they're not going to shut down government and lock it up. but it will be nice to have some people on the other side for once when everybody is saying spend more, spend more, spend more, republicans increase the deficit, democrats increase the deficit. the debt explodes under bush, it explodes under obama. i kind of like a force over here saying let's spend less money. >> i think the unreality is one party says cut taxes for 95% of the public, the other for 100%. there's a certain basic unreality right now which is still go for the easy answers.
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and nobody is really telling the truth about the deficit. >> i tell you what's real, though, out there. and i strongly believe this. most people know instinctively dealt can crush a household. >> that's right. >> and they feel that debt can strongly crush a government. there's another element involved -- >> mike, the disconnect is, then everyone says cut taxes. where? how? >> sure. >> it's fundamentally unreal. i think, yes, i've said all along since the first day that when the obama administration raised the deficit with the stimulus, it was the wrong way to go because he inherited a thrill i don't know dollar deficit to race it to 1.5 trillion was to move in the wrong direction. neither party is really telling the truth on this at all, what it would look like out many years to do serious budgeting. no one wants to hear the truth. >> one other thing. nobody is telling the truth.
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but there's one other thing that helps that wrong track thing continually slide. that is we just went back to school as a country. parents went out and bought things for their kids. they didn't buy hardly anything that was made in america. they keep thinking, china, china, china, oh, my god, china. china is now bigger and better than we are. >> mika, the reason i think america is ton wrong track and waking up today -- boom, boom, go way down. that is bad news. it's bad news not only for baseball. it's bad news for america. wy . there are children across the world who will die this morning because the new york yankees locked it up last night. >> nothing the u.n. can do about that. >> up next, will democrats be forced to deal with the charlie rangel and maxine waters ethics
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trials before november? the ethics then? boys, please. >> the rays clinched and there were only 6,000 people watching in that cement bowl? >> after they were called out by the players, the players said, guys, we're going to the play-offs every year and no one comes to the game. >> 6,000 people. >> it was more than 6,000. >> that's like when i was watching the braves in the '70s. bob horner, 4,000 of us would sprint down the first baseline -- you could run from home plate to the right field pole chasing porker bob horner's foul ball. we had an excuse. the braves lost 110 games every year. so only -- >> the and the rays want a new stadium from the taxpayers. >> with their fan base, they should play at a little league field. i'm sorry.
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go ahead. also ahead, a fiery first debate in the california gubernatorial contest. mike? >> kids are going to die here. >> after months of campaigning, meg whitman and jerry brown finally went head to head. mike, i'm going to put you in the corner, and i'm serious. >> here is bill karins, storm shutter karins here can tell us what hurricane is going to kill us this week. >> joe, don't make me put on my florida gators jersey. let's talk about tropical depression 16. this isn't going to be like a tropical system with a lot of gusty winds doing damage, just a ton of rain is going to move up the east coast in the next two days. miami is getting soaked this morning. that will slide it into the carolinas tonight. lit be all through the midatlantic and new england during the day tomorrow. the forecast for today, partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. humid. dry today. tomorrow heavy rain from d.c., boston later in the day.
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not talking just heavy rain. this could be significant rain. as much as six to seven inches locally is possible from philadelphia to new york city, maybe even d.c. flooding concerns over the next 48 hours. the rest of the country looks great from dallas to chicago, enjoy a beautiful wednesday. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ female announcer ] stay once...
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although there are 2,000 homes ready to be built, the israelis restrained themselves to only building 26 new homes. would that be enough to cause the palestinians to walk away from the negotiating table. >> there's an arab league meeting next week. >> the arab league. that's a tough league.
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hard line members in that league. let's check the standings. saudi arabia is doing well. lebanon hoping for a wildcard. for god sakes, the mets are at the bottom of the arab league as well? that can't be. >> that's terrible. 21 past the hour. let me ask you a question. they're asking the president questions, tough questions about his faith. i have challenged glenn beck, it was a joke, i really don't care what his faith is. that's up to him and god. but i need to ask you. barnicle brought this up, and this is something that george mathers brought up. i have to ask you the question, are you now or have you ever been a thes bean? >> i was definitely a thesbian. >> chris is going, ooh, i like that. >> some accused clauds pepper of
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being a thes beeian. >> yeah, 150 years ago, george smathers who beat claude pepper in a democratic primary accused him of being a thesbian. because he did it in florida, whoa, i ain't voting for pepper. >> makes no sense on so many levels. >> no, but it was florida. >> all right. i was proud to be a thesbian. it was just fine. >> i think all of us around the table salute you for that. >> oh, please. let's take a look at "the washington post." >> live and let live. >> the photo shows the casket of senator ted stevens yesterday. "san francisco chronicle," the photo shows democrat jerry brown and republican meg whitman shaking hands before their first debate. we'll be playing some of that debate later. "the washington times," the democrat's agenda of job and tax
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cuts has begun to lose support within their own ranks. nearly 400 leaders signed -- the tennesseean, dozens of country music's biggest names gathered to celebrate the reopening of the grand ole opry five months after the institution and most of nashville was submerged in a historic flood. willie, that's good news. >> that story was lost unfortunately in national press because of the bp spill. it was devastating the nashville. they're just getting back on their feet. with us chief white house correspondent for politico mike allen is here with a look at politico's morning playbook. hey, mike. >> morning, willie. >> we kind of thought charlie rangel and maxine waters were going to be pushed off to another day. i understand republicans want to see trials before the midterm elections. >> they do. this is very surprising. the ethics committee has been the one nonpoliticized part of
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the house, a committee that usually acts in a very bipartisan way. whatever fights they have are behind closed doors and quiet. this is very unusual. the five republicans on the ethics committee went public yesterday saying they want trials of charlie rangel and maxine waters of california before the election. now, that's not going to happen. so the fact that they're lashing out like this shows their frustration with the democrats. they think these serious charges against these members are being swept under the rug. you might look at this as the first action of the would-be, believes it will be, house republican majority. >> these five republicans know, of course, there won't be tlils before the midterm, so what's the political strategy here? they want to get these stories back in the conversation. >> that's a great point at a time when congress in general is unpopular. democrats are unpopular. when democrats are hitting republicans over the head with the idea don't go the back to the problems you didn't like about republicans before. they're reminding them, hey,
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there's plenty of things you don't like about democrats either. >> mike, one of your headlines that grabbed us this morning, 2012 king makers. some republican hopefuls, watching very closely the gubernatorial races. tell us about it. >> we can't get jonathan martin to pay attention to 2010, he's already paying attention to 2012. i love this. potential new republican governors in the three key early states, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, including nikki haley there who is strongly favored. being showered with endorsements, money from potential candidates. we're seeing a lot of movement. i sat down with senator john thune of south dakota yesterday. he's looking strongly at it. he's already figured out, he told me he thinks lit cost $30 million to $35 million just to do the early states. he said he'll decide in january. he says he thinks there's going to be a crush of republicans announcing right after november. they think suddenly this
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nomination is worth having. also tim pawlenty is going to be announcing today as soon as he leaves office in january, he'll be going on a speaking tour for his book and paid speeches he signed up with leading authorities. >> we'll talk with tim pawlenty later in the show. mike, thanks so much. politicos were all out last night celebrating baby love. >> we all love "baby love." look at patrick. nora had a party for her book which is called "baby love." great turnout. there's austan goolsbee. it's a great book. healthy, easy recipes for babies and new parents. the party was a blast. there's the book. get it. we love nora. it's a cool thing. her husband is a chef and they came together so they can spread the book on nutrition from the start, on the bestseller list.
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>> are you strange squash? >> you and i have been swapping recipes. i think it's been working well. >> still ahead he's running for the mayor of wasilla -- >> do you know how hard it is to strain a sin nah bun wrapped in bacon? >> let me just say -- >> look at the anger. look at the anger. i love him. >> wait till you see this. i'm so glad he has a show. >> it was levi on "the last word" last night. we are absolutely certain -- >> did he debone him? >> we can tell you this, that levi will not be back. >> why did it take us so long to get lawrence's show? >> a five-minute span of time, i believe his candidacy for mayor might have been crushed. >> it was great, huh? >> that and sports straight ahead. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ]
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welcome back to "morning joe." 32 past the hour. a live look at capitol hill as we take a quick look at the news. european authorities remain on high alert this morning after intelligence agencies disrupted an early stage plot to carry out terror attacks in britain, france and germany. according to officials, terrorist groups based in pakistan were planning the carry out what are being called mumbai-style strikes on london and other european cities. one counterterrorism official says recent missile strikes in northern pakistan were aimed at the suspected planners of the plotsz. threat levels in the targeted countries have not been raised. that development comes as france's eiffel tower was briefly evacuated yesterday after officials received a bomb threat. despite the call which police said came from a nearby phone booth no serious or suspicious object was found. "the new york times" reports that the pakistani military is
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pushing for a shakeup of the country's government, including the removal of president as receive al zardari. top lieutenants are angry over the handling of the country's devastating floods which have left more than 20 million people homeless and alarmed by a collapse of the economy. still officials say the military is preoccupied by a war against militants and not eager to take over the government as it has done many times before. >> jeffrey sachs, a bad situation in pakistan getting worse? >> it's interesting and dangerous. a nuclear power, these devastating floods and, you know, it's the kind of upheaval we're seeing pakistan, yemen, somalia, there's a band of unrest and environmental chaos and lots of people and population growth. again, as usual, there's some pretty deep underlying problems that don't get addressed at all.
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and a growing crisis. pakistan is, of course, one of the toughest places in the world which is probably why what we're doing in afghanistan is a lot of waste of money as we talked about before. $10 billion and 100,000 troops where that's not our central problem and pakistan, where you have this devastation that you can't even get organized really to respond to the floods. it's interesting, when ambassador holbrooke was here last week, appealing to the american people, that's fine to text in a $10 donation. it's a funny way to run the world actually. we've got serious problems. but creating a proper system of emergency response would make a lot more sense than coming on and appealing for $10 donations. we don't have that. i met with the president of the asian development bank last week who is in charge, and then you don't have the kind of structure
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to really respond to 20 million people. and texting is a kind of pr thing, isn't it? >> yeah. we've got bob woodward coming up. how fascinating, you read through that book. you have barack obama, leon pinetta and others saying the problem isn't in afghanistan, is it? anyway, they're saying what we've been saying. yet we continue this war without end. let's go to baseball and tampa bay. >> a mob scene. >> 13 kids. tampa bay rays first place in the a.l. east. >> it is so exciting. >> finally fed up with their fans. on monday night, less than 13,000 fans showed up to the rays-orioles game. a game in which the rays could have clinched a play-off spot. you see the stands there. >> in an interviewed that appeared yesterday in the "st. petersburg times," evan longoria said it's embarrassing and disheart ending that fans don't
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show up to the games. we play hard for 162 games and for the fans to show the kind of support they're showing right now, you kind of wonder what else you have to do as a player. longoria was not the only player to speak out about the ray's lousy attendance. pitcher david twice, the ace of the staff, tweeted this. had a chance to clinch a postseason spot with about 10,000 fans in the stands, embarrassing. price later apologized. longoria said he was trying to rally the fans at the stadium. didn't quite work last night. the rays did clinch behind david price's left arm. here he is get ag strikeout. carl crawford's solo home to right field. rays won the game 5-1. they clinch the play-off berth. about 18,000, still 5,000 fewer. >> where are the fans? >> florida cannot draw baseball fans, whether it's the marlins or the rays.
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>> great young team last year. great young team this year. great young team going forward. no fan support. they shouldn't be in tampa bay. they should not be. >> it is so sad for those players. >> according to the st. pete times, the ray's ownership will give out 20,000 free tickets to tonight's game. it's the last home game of the season. >> also in the a.l. east t yankees won last night and clinch a play-off spot. it's a matter of who gets first and who gets the wildcard spot. sglt 157 games. going to win 90 games with a aaa outfield. >> what's the statistic of the number of guys who started on opening day? >> 14 games. >> that lineup was on the field for 14 days. >> always something. in the national league, the first place reds -- >> how about this for a good
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story. looking the clinch the n.l. central, they do it dramatically, bottom of the ninth with the game tied. jay bruce, a walk-off home run sends the reds to the play-offs. they make the play-offs for the first time in 15 years. they do it the way they've done it all season. bruce's home run was the 22nd time in the season the reds won in their final at-bat. they won the world series to the reds 20 years ago this year. >> how exciting. >> good for the reds, good for cincinnati. one play to show you, giants, d'backs out west, foul ball down the right field line. d'backs outfielder colt tries to make a play. he doesn't come up with the ball. but look who does? the guy with the chicken hat? he feels the need to run towards the ump and show the umpire he made the play. it doesn't count as an out. >> so what happened in the nl
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wildcard. >> giants are up two games on the padres who are reeling right now. braves won. braves a game and a half up in the wildcard. >> bobby may make it. >> it looks like it might be giants and then braves in the wildcard. >> how exciting. when we come back, why meg whitman compared jerry brown to dracula in the first california gubernatorial debate. we'll play it for you next on "morning joe." recently, sharp made a major leap forward in the science of color with quattron. by adding a fourth color -- yellow... yellow. banana. ...to the standard rgb color system, quattron produces more colors... banana! ...and makes images brighter. banana! banana! when seen in 3d -- whoa! whoa! aah! quattron makes tv so realistic... whoa! ...you won't believe your eyes. [ male announcer ] aquos quattron 3d from sharp. [ engineer laughs ]
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the fact that jerry brown is trying to distance himself from the labor union ss amazing to me because they've been joined at the hip for 40 years. my view is putting jerry brown
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in charge of negotiating with the labor unions around pensions, around how many people we have in the state government is like putting count dracula in charge of the blood bank. >> if everybody in state service worked as long as i have the pension system would be overfunded by 50%. by the way, if you elect me governor, i won't collect till i'm 76. if i get a second term, lit be 80. i'm the best pension buy california has ever seen. okay? >> that is pretty good. >> that was good. >> i like that. that was california gubernatorial candidates, democrat jerpry brown and republican meg whitman facing off last night in the first of three debates. the latest field poll has them knotted at 41% apiece. there's a couple of really stunning races taking place across the country. >> connecticut.
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the governor's race now is just close -- within a margin of error. >> three points. it's blumenthal neck and neck and linda mcmahon, and i am -- i worked there for about a decade as a reporter and kind of have a sense of what the voter attitude is. i can't believe it. i really can't. >> such a blue state, a state that i think barack obama got 65% in, 66% in. >> wonder if bill clinton will have made a difference when he went there this week. chris tells us independents are breaking hard towards republicans. >> interesting. >> you see that 50 -- in the new nbc poll, 52%, 53 brs of americans want health care reform repealed, and that's what the democrats used the first year and a half of the presidency of barack obama to pass.
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>> 70% of the respondents -- >> 54% repeal health care reform. >> 70% will vote for anyone who has never been on a ballot before. anybody. >> repeal health care. >> wow. they are proving it in some states across america. >> willie could get elected. >> we have a one must-read op ed. we have the mayor of new york coming up, by the way, mayor bloomberg at the top of the hour. joel klein writes this in the new york pest. "putting kids first," a line we hear a lot from both sides of this debate. even before davis guggenheim's powerful documentary "waiting for superman" opened in theaters critics were discounting the film as a charter school propaganda and suggesting it vilifies public school teachers. the problem with that logic is twofold. first, charters are public schools. second, the teachers within them, the good and the bad, are also public school teachers. the difference is that most
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don't belong to the teacher's union. >> wow. >> we've seen in new york charter schools that work and there are incredible lessons to bring from them. the one, of course, that we always talk about, they're great, great, great examples these schools set. and some that are not so good. >> no doubt. in new york, though, joel klein and mayor bloomberg are getting it right. remarkable stuff jeffrey canada is doing in harlem. jeffrey sachs, the bottom line is, i said earlier this week this is a moral issue, a national security issue, an economic issue. the united states of america can't move forward. we have to improve our k-12 education system. >> also a jobs issue. when you look at where the unemployment really is, those who finished college education have low unemployment. the unemployment is among people
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who don't have -- haven't been able to get through the educational system, get a bachelor's degree. so if we have all these dropouts, if we're not getting kids all the way through college these days and there's more and more of that, that's where the unemployment is also located. so it is national security. it's competitiveness. happiness, and it's the jobs. so this matters and these charter schools we're finding great successes and failures and it's a question of building on successes right now. >> coming up in just a few minutes, my your michael bloomberg. willie, how are you going to embarrass us. >> "the last word," the new hit show on msnbc. levi johnson thought he was coming in to shuck and jive, have a good time. he was grilled like he was
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running for president on "meet the press." it's just not pretty. >> look at that guy. i love him. >> we'll show you some low lights. for those of us who have lactose intolerance, let's raise a glass to cookies just out of the oven. to the morning bowl of cereal. and to lactaid® milk. easy to digest and with all the calcium and vitamin d of regular milk. [ female announcer ] lactaid®. the original lactose-free milk. but basically, i'm a runner. last year. (oof). i had a bum knee that needed surgery. but it got complicated, because i had an old injury. so i wanted a doctor who had done this before.
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>> what are you laughing at? >> your book. >> what's it called? >> "american freak show." here is the clock right now, 305 hours till the release. let's talk business here. sarah palin, boo-gate on "dance being the stars." some people said she was being booed. we concluded yesterday after a thorough staff analysis of the tape that they were booing the scores for jennifer grey. "dancing with the stars" played this up last night. they said we have a never-before-scene camera angle that we'll reveal that sarah palin wasn't being booed. they were booing the scores for the previous dancer. let's watch. >> 8! >> 8!
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>> 8! they're booing an 8? >> that's good. that is good. that's a good score. >> 8! >> are you kidding? >> what's a matter you? >> thank you, brook. i'm here with guest ballroom commentator sarah palin who joins us from alaska. >> clearly from that angle, they're booing the bruno toll own any, the judge on the right. >> it is a waste of time. why do you think willie is talking about it. >> let's get to the good stuff. keep it in the wasilla family. on "last word" with lawrence
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o'donnell. night one joe biden. >> night two, another political leader, levi johnson. levy is running for mayor up there in wasilla, alaska. we'll get to the bad part in a minute. lawrence asked levi what he thought about bristol on "dancing with the stars." >> what are you doing instead? >> better things to do. i have my son to worry about. i got family. i got family. i got stuff to do around the house. i got friends, reading up on all this stuff, trying to become mayor. i got a jobl. i have much better stuff to dothan sit around and watching tv. >> that makes sense. he's not watching tv shows. >> he's got stuff to do around the house. >> lawrence's position heading into this interview is levi johnson is a candidate for office, running for mayor. so he should be held to the same
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standards as all national political leaders? "meet the press." >> what's your position on global warming? do you believe it's man-made or not? >> no i don't. >> you don't believe it's man-made or you do believe it's man-made? >> i don't believe it's man-made. >> do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepteded scientific principle or one of several theories? >> you're kind of getting over my head on these things here. i don't really know how to answer that question. >> in afghanistan, do you believe additional troops, u.s. troops will solve the problem there? >> i have no idea. >> okay. again, do you think the pakistani government is protecting al qaeda within its borders? >> like i said, i don't watch a whole lot of tv. >> lawrence is out of his mind. i love him. >> lawrence is flat-out nuts. >> we have to go to sleep at like 7:00 or 8:00.
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i swear i'm going to have to stay up. i don't even stay up to watch "mad men" at 10:00. i tivo it. i have to stay up until 11:00 to watch lawrence. i'm going to have to take a nap in the middle of the day. >> what else? >> one other issue lawrence wanted to tackle in a friendly way. lawrence is charming. wanted to know how things are going, levi is pursuing a ged. >> how are you doing on the ged? >> ready to go. i imagine in the next month it will be wrapped up. >> you're working on it? >> yes. >> next time you get the ged question between now and then? >> i can't wait to get it. >> i have two words for you, abraham lincoln. that puts it away. you're done. never graduated from high school. >> levi -- >> a helping hand. >> i thought donald trump is the lincoln of our time. is it now levi?
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from one potential mayor to another. >> yes, who might have done just a tad bit better in that interview i'm thinking. i think he will be on "the last word." >> really? >> be forewarned mayor bloomberg. we'll be right back with mayor michael bloomberg. keep it right here on "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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thankfully obama's days are
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numbered. last week the republicans launched their historic pledge to america which has something to please everyone. jimmy, pop me a boehner. >> if republicans win the majority in november, it will not be business as usual. it will not be business as usual. it will not be business as usual. >> yes. everything is going to be different. >> we are not going to be any different than what we've been. >> except anything. >> that seems a little repetitive there. joining us at the top of the hour, the mayor of new york city, michael bloomberg. welcome to "morning joe." >> thank you very much for having me. >> we've got a lot of news to go through. we should start, since we've been talking about education. all across nbc news platforms, he's been going after the tenure issue. should we go there now? >> yeah, we should go there now. there's no way to talk about education reform without talking about what you've done in new york. this has been a remarkable week at nbc universal.
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i remember the first time i got exposed to this, jeff zucker told me to go to a school in harlem to see what was going on there. i had no idea. it was a revolution what you and joel klein and the teachers in this city are doing, is nothing short of remarkable. >> there's an awful lot of people who are involved here. you all the people who started these charter schools. you have the parents who care. i went to see "waiting for superman" yesterday. we showed it for our staff meeting. some reporter afterward asked me what i thought. i said, if you looked at the parents, the parents who knew the one chance their kids had, and they couldn't do it. they were depending on a lottery to do it and you looked in their eyes as the numbers were called and their kid wasn't called. and you think what would you do if it was your kid? you so much want to take care of your family. most of us to some extent in control. these people are not in control. it's not charter schools that
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are the answer. it's all the schools that are the answer. charter schools give you competition and try new things. that's great. we have a 1,100,000 kids in new york city. most go to noncharter school. out of 85,000 teachers, most of them are probably the best group of teachers put together. some are not. how do you weed those outs? we want to change the way tenure is granted. if we have to lay off teachers, not layoff last-in, first-out and keep the best one. >> that's what we hear time and time again. some of the most talented teachers get laid off because of last-in, first-out. i want to ask you specifically ability new york city and what's going on here and not with charters across america. there's one stanford study that shows new york city is doing remarkable things. basic erase the harlem-scarsdale
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gap. go outside new york city and look at charters nationwide, there's not a big difference between charters and regular public schools. what is new york city doing right that the rest of america may not be doing right? >> i don't know what other people are doing. what we do in new york may not fit elsewhere. number one, we focus on the kids rather than the people that work in the industry. that's where you start. number two, dedemand results. we have a new program with ibm, we'll create a school, 400 to 600 schools, instead of going 9-12, it's going to go 9-14. if the kid gets through those years, ibm guaranteed them a job. >> how amazing is that? >> new york city created this year 10% of all the new private sector jobs in this country. it's created 100% of all the private sector jobs in the state. it's this focus on making sure
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that education is relevant. some kids want to go to college. they've got to be prepared. some kids want to go into the workforce directly. they've got to be prepared. to go to work today, if you want to work in our sanitation department, you have to have a high school diploma. if you want to be a steal worker you have to understand technology and math. you have to be able to read and write and ask questions. >> expectations. we'll get to some of the "wall street journal" polls and talk about what's going on across the country in a moment. but one more question pertaining to -- this is related to the success of our children. there was a study about the rate of obesity rate of children in poorer parts of the city. numbers were staggering. is the city on this in a real way? >> trying. working with the beverage companies, for example. most kids get a very big percentage of shug garp intake from full sugared drink.
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>> liquid candy. >> liquid candy. >> i can do that. >> but you're tough and macho. >> and some would say fat. >> just a little bit. >> all kidding aside, if you go to poorer neighborhoods, you can't buy 2% milk. you go to poorer neighborhoods and can't buy diet drinks or fresh fruits and vegetables. the education isn't such that the kids understand or their parents are telling them, hey, that's not good for them. if you go to poorer neighborhoods, the percentage of kids who are obese is so much greater. we know the problem. we've got to do something about it. obesity in this country is the only public health issue that's getting worse. smoking is coming down. lots of other things are getting better. obesity is getting worse. >> i completely agree with you and would do anything to help. let us know. you be quiet. >> i will. >> i like the way you run this show. >> she does. she does.
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>> thank you. >> mike? >> mr. mayor, you mentioned watching "waiting for superman" and the look on the parents' faces, sad their child didn't get the lottery pick into the charter school. what realistically can be done about more parental involvement in schools? we hammer the teachers. we do that all the time. but the lack of parental involvement in so many schools from medford, massachusetts to manhattan is epidemic. >> where you have what i would call a norman rockwell family -- remember those families. there were two parents, one worked and one stayed home with the kids. those days are gone. today that's not the average family. if you saw in the movie, one of the kids being raised by a grandmother. the mother and father were -- i think one was dead, the other not around. that's the great challenge. our teachers have the kids for five hours a day, five days a week, 25 weeks a year. the parents, if they exist or whoever doesn't, has them all the rest of the time.
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you can't ask the teachers to do all the social stuff, teaching kids values, making sure they get a good night's sleep and come to school with a meal in their stomach and clothes on their backs. that's the great challenge we have. i've always thought that what we should do in public schools is you have the teachers go and visit the homes of every student in their class before the year starts. i suggested that back in '01. i almost got run out of town on the rail. one of the teachers unions say, oh, it's not safe. charter schools and private schools tends to do that because the teacher has to understand what the situation is at home so she or he can find out who to give information to at home and what special needs the kid might have. in the end, it is a good teacher in front of the student. that's what we can do with society. wet can't change everything at home. somebody once said, oh, you'll never fix the schools until you end poverty. joel klein is very smart said,
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no, it's the reverse, you'll never end poverty until you fix the schools. i think that's very true. >> that's one of the transformative moments in my thinking in watching "waiting for superman" when davis guggenheim echoed joel klein's thoughts, that for too long we've been saying schools can't succeed in failing neighborhoods. wait a second, educators are realizing that neighborhoods can't succeed until the schools become centers of excellent. >> 1.3 million kids drop out of high school each year. what do you think happens to those kids? in l.a., they're not going out to write screenplays. mr. mayor, i would say cory booker, your colleague over there in newark, he said, the money is great. mark zuckerberg gave me $10 million. i appreciate it. that's not the only solution. i need my community to step up. >> the real problem for our
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country, we think throwing more money at the problem is the solution. the reason for that is legislators can't do very much other than move money around. they take money from some and give money to others to advance the purposes and social causes we want in this country, whether you agree with them or not. some you'll agree with. some you won't. that's what legislators do. if you have a complex problem, it's always throw more money at it orr some regulations. in the end, it is leadership. it is picking the right people. it is supporting those people. every day there's another story in the tabloids about a disaster in the school system. somebody has to stand up and say, hey, even if that's true, we have 1,100,000 kids in our public school system. that's the size of the population of detroit. do you think detroit ever goes for a day without one crime? of course not. if we have one crime in the school system, it's terrible. we shouldn't have it. but where is all the coverage of what the other 1,999,000 kids
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are doing? it's just not there. we all want sensationalist stuff. in tend there's no easy answers to complex problems. fixing the school system is one kid, one day at a time. in new york city, we haven't done as good a job as i'd like us to do. what we did isn't necessarily what's right for the rest of the country. unless this country gets public education together, we don't have a future. 25th in math in the world? you wonder why jobs are going overseas? there are a lot of people unemployed 234 america. there are a lot of jobs available. the skill sets don't match. we've got to stop all of this pandering and saying there's an easy solution and i'll throw more money at it. it's hard work. it's hard work for kids. it's hard work for parents. it's hard work for teachers and principals and the taxpayer. either you want to have a future or you don't. >> we're headed down the wrong
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path. lit be a national security issue. our place in the world will be affected. i think people are at least beginning to think about it. i hope everybody goes to see "waiting for superman." broadening this out because i do think this issue could be one that the president could make part of his legacy. it seems they're on track to make a difference here. >> yes. >> if you look at the "wall street journal" poll "right track, wrong track." 59% of people think we're going in the wrong direction. how would you characterize the state of this administration now and its effectiveness? dealing with our country's problems? >> i think you have to separate whether they're going in the right direction or whether people think they're going in the right direction. the newspapers and talk shows, everybody wants to have something to talk about. so we focus on things that aren't working. i happen to think that the president on education in particular with arne duncan is going in the right direction as, incidentally, did his
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predecessor. george bush deserves credit with no child left behind and now race to the top. they're both programs where the president said this is the number one issue for this country and we're going to try to do something about it. no administration is going to stay in office long enough to fix the problem. there will always be a challenge for other places, new needs that kids will have. at least they are out there saying let's do something and not just kowtowing to the feel-good groups. they're saying, look, if you want, in this program, "race to the top" you have to fix a, b and c or we won't give you any money. congress typically never works that way. congress gives something to everybody. why? because every congress person, congressman and woman, senator, has to bring something home for their constituents or they can't get re-elected. they're all in it together, i'm going to get my share, so i'm going to give him his share in my bill. >> i want to commend you and we all do around the table want to
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commend you for what you did, the strong stand you took on the ground zero islamic center. we committed what the president said in his friday night speech to muslims. he sort of backed off on saturday. you held firm. i wanted to ask, first of all, why is this issue so important to you? and secondly, as mayor of new york, how distressing was it for you in one of the most progressive places in america to see protests at grountd zero and seeing americans getting surrounded and almost attacked having to yell "i'm not a muslim. i'm not a muslim." >> the first amendment applies to people that i don't agree with as well. i'm out to defend those who wanted to yell and scream and complain. it's as my job to defend those who want a place to worship. this is a first amendment issue,
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plain and simple. if you think about it, do you want somebody telling you where you can build your church, who should be at the front of the congregation, what he or she should say, where the money should come from? i don't think so. if you want to make sure you have the right to practice your religion the ways you want, you have to make sure everybody else around the table has theirs even if it's something you don't agree with. to me this is fundamental stuff you learned in physics 101. >> plain and simple. >> the thing is, that's what i don't understand, mr. mayor. i went to law school. listen, i wasn't a good student. >> i was probably a worse student than you. i could never have gotten into law school. >> i was awake during the constitutional law part where they talked about freedom of religion. this seems like such a clear-cut case of freedom of religion. >> not for a politician. >> why is it that other than you, every other politician --
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>> i don't know that's fair. i think there were plenty of others. i think the reason the polls show what they do, do you want some terrorists living next door who are going to rape and pillage and everything else? they'd say no. they'd say, a-ha, against the mosque. when i talked to the families who lost people in 9/11, all say the same thing. this is the right thing. this is america. everybody should have a right. my girlfriend and i were having a hamburger. big hulking guy came up and said can i talk to you. i said what do you want to talk about? he said the mosque. i came back from two tours overseas. will you keep going out there and telling them why we were overseas. >> that's great. >> we were debating it on a mountain in maine. >> he didn't offer to pick up the tab for dinner. >> too bad. my father said that michael bloomberg has showed leadership on this.
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everyone is being weak. >> your father compliments mayor bloomberg and i'm stunningly superficial. no respect. >> no, no. tremendous respect. >> everybody from massachusetts would have done this, right? >> if you don't understand what he's saying, you don't understand what the constitution is all about. you mentioned legislative bodies just moving money around. in your memory as a private business person and public person combined, have you ever seen the level of dysfunction in congress as high as it is right now? >> my 101-year-old mother says the good old days were never the good old days. you go back to boss tweed, mayor curly, it probably wasn't any worse. we think it wasn't any better. we think it's worse now. i think what is true that we have the 24-hour news cycle. somebody sticks a microphone in front of you and you have to come up with an answer before
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you know the facts which were probably given to you wrong anyways. there's the blogs which change the dynamic because you don't have the maturity of the writing and the editing and legal oversight to make sure there's no slander and that sort of thing. there's the redistricting that's taking place. that makes the challenge come from your flank, not from across the aisle. there are things that are different, but fundamentally people run for office. they say thing in their interest. it's tough to look at a group and say no. when i walk down the street, you can tell a town by whether people smile. when somebody is walking to you scowling, i think, oh, i don't know they need this. all of the sudden they break into a big smile, i love you. >> i don't need this. >> that's cute. >> let me ask you this, willie, this is a tough question. is the mayor -- i know he's got
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to be a red sox fan privately. is he excited about what happened last night or like barnicle himself, is he in mourning? >> he's a new yorker. >> i was there friday night with my girlfriend and daughter and one of my deputy mayors, 10-1 i stayed until we left. 10-8 i was rooting for the yankees. >> he's still educating me about the red sox. >> i have one more question. given your frustration with what's happening in washington, given the american frustration with what's happening in washington. >> what are you, lawrence o'donnell? >> their thirs for competent executive leadership. wouldn't it make sense for you to run for president in 2012? >> no. i think we should all pull behind barack obama. he's our president. if you want to run against him or you want somebody else, the last year of his term in office, that's when a campaign should start. but during the time, the first
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three years of his administration, we need a functioning president. this is america. we want to make this country better. there's nothing wrong with being partisan and expressing your views, disappointment, objections, other point of view. but you have to do it in ways that pull people together. >> mayor michael bloomberg, anything we can do to help spread the message to help children in new york? >> what nbc is doing really is great. >> all right. let's work on the obesity issue. i'd love to. i'm foisting myself on him. >> and your father is very smart. >> thank you. brilliant, isn't he? >> chuck todd straight ahead taking us straight to the nbc news and "wall street journal" poll. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. mes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize i better start doing something.
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that is how the other side wins. and i want everybody to be clear. make no mistake. if the other side does win, they will spend the next two years fighting for the very same policies that led to this recession in the first place, the same policies that left the middle class behind for more than a decade. the same policies we fought so hard for to change in 2008. all right. welcome back to "morning joe." a live look at the white house. the sunup in washington this morning. with us now -- >> we're playing "running on empty," it can only mean one thing. >> what's that? >> we're going to nbc news chief correspondent, the man who let us know he hated this song. >> disagree. actually, i love it. not only that, when i run, i make sure this is the last song because it actually does help me finish that last quarter mile. >> i'm really confused now.
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>> i do. >> wait, wait. he's like my parents, using reverse psychology on me. he doesn't want us -- he doesn't want us to play it anymore. >> you know what it is, joe? this is the only week in the history of most college football that i will root for the alabama crimson tide because they play the most -- you know, the team that everybody -- we all agree we should hate the most. >> florida gators. >> that's not right. >> gary danielson invited me to the pooth. >> yes. i wish i could get invited. he's so nice. >> i think i am. by the way, he is so great to listen to. i love him now that tim tebow is safely in the pros. gary, i'm joking. i'm joking. >> he's doing the play-by-play for the broncos now, scout team practices. >> we love gary. new nbc news-"wall street journal" poll out. a little news for everybody.
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what are you looking at? >> two things about this poll. one is i thought we did a good job of trying to figure out what is it, the change voters want? let's go to the top line number, this generic ballot among likely voters. last month it was 49-40 for the republicans, a substantial lead. this month, that lead went down from nine points to three points, down to 46-43. now, look. the political environment hasn't changed. it is still a negative political environment for the incumbent party. right track, wrong track. wrong track near 60%. the president's job rating upside down. but what you're seeing, and the reason this number shifted, it's not as if somehow democrats persuaded more voters to be with them. it is simply african-americans and hispanics in particular starting the tune in more. those numbers were a lot higher on the enthusiasm index this month than last month. it goes to why the president was
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where he was yesterday. because the one part of his base that is still not tuned in is this under 35 vote. in fact, if you look at the 2008 election, more than 50% of the electorate was under the age of 50. right now, our pollsters estimate the likely voter sample means a jort of voters that vote will be over the age of 50. if that's the case, republicans will do very well. they're doing very well among seniors in particular, but among all voters over the age of 50. >> talk about the changes that voters want from what you found in your poll. >> what was interesting about this is this isn't about changing the color of the jersey. this is about systemic change that they want. the number one thing they'd like to see happen is reduce the influence of special interest. that sounds pretty good. the number two thing they hope happens is this idea that political outsiders are elected. they hope -- a majority hopes
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that the tea party keeps the republican party as a fiscally conservative party. a majority want to see health care reform repealed. but what was interesting is that there was less passion on who controls congress, 55% said it would be acceptable if republicans had it. 51% said it would be acceptable if democrats kept it. it shows you that what they want more is new people here and it doesn't matter to the party as long as they'll come in here and bring change. right now that's working in the republicans' favor. you can't say, look, there's a hoard of people voting for the republicans. what they're doing is voting against washington. if this was the case, i would say this, these republican incumbents better be careful. they better not assume they're protected from this environment. >> chuck, bill clinton was giving a lifeline to a connecticut candidate over the
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weekend. >> back and better than ever. >> after that interview late last week, he then went to wilbur cross high school in new haven, connecticut to stump for richard blumenthal who is fighting for his political life in a state that probably wouldn't lean toward a linda mcmahon and would lean toward -- it makes no sense. i worked there for years. i'm stunned at those numbers. >> mika, it does make sense in this respect. look at the number i showed you. 70% want to see political outsiders elected. what's blumenthal? the ultimate political insider in the state of connecticut. the more they attack linda mcmahon for being this -- part of this wrestling world, part of this, part of that, the one thing -- it helps her in the view of some of these fed-up voters, she's certainly an outsider. >> yeah. how do i say this -- >> let's just stick on bill
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clinton. what about bill clinton? over the past six months bill clinton has emerged as the most popular politician in america. >> we tested everybody from sarah palin, newt gingrich, mitt romney on the republican side. nancy pelosi, barack obama, and it's bill clinton. it's bill clinton by a mile. what's interesting. >> you like that, willie? >> even tea party supporters, even 30% of tea party supporters have a positive view of bill clinton. part of this is, guess what, he's not really in the fray, number one. last week obviously was this huge bill clinton week in many ways. clinton global initiative. you saw him on the air a lot. that's when we were in the field. he probably got a little bump on that. these are his best numbers since he left office. >> chuck, a fascinating number i found was the tea party number. >> yes. >> it is positive. the opinion of the tea party. >> really interesting.
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>> continues improving. the negatives go down, and they are now associated with americans as being for deficit reduction, balanced budgets. that seems to be the big idea of the tea party in the minds of americans. >> that seems to be what it is. when you say 27% of folks tell us they identify with the tea party movement, they see themselves as a part of the tea party movement. even folks that don't identify are saying it's been a good thing, and when you look at that other number i read this, this idea that a majority, one of the results they would be happy with is the fact that the tea party makes the republican party a fiscal cli conservative party again. in that respect i think that's where you've seen the positive feelings of the tea party grow. as a political entity it's still polarizing. it's got a 30% favorable rating. about one to one there, about
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39-38. the impact it's having on that specific issue, that seems to be resonating in a positive way. >> chuck, who does miami have this weekend? >> miami has clemson. so that's the acc. you never know. with clemson it's one that they need to win. one thing to tell you about this tea party movement. tea party and the labor union and members of labor unions agree on one thing. both of them don't like free trade agreements in this country, don't think free trade agreements have been good for america. the biggest finding in this poll that's long term is the disconnect between the elites on free trade and the rest of the country. >> it is the perot people. i've said it for some time. there are so many overlaps between the perot people that i saw in '94 and the tea partyers that we're seeing now. who do you have on "the daily rundown." >> davis guggenheim, continuing
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"education nation." focusing on that issue. just baufz it's over on the particular sa. >> he's great. >> this new york centric thing -- just because it's over in new york city. he hates new york. >> i'm jealous of it. that's what it is. >> whatever. >> chuck, thank you so much for coming in. we appreciate it. still ahead we'll be talking to minnesota governor tim pawlenty and look who is next. >> can democrats hold up to barack obama's old senate seat? we'll bring in illinois senate candidate alexi junulius next on "morning joe." mmmm. you don't love me anymore do you billy? what? i didn't buy this cereal to sweet talk your taste buds it's for my heart health. so i can't have any?
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in the beginning oprah frightened me. i'm still trep day shows around oprah. she was with stedman, i was with my then girlfriend regina, both at a restaurant having lunch on vacation. i said to regina, this is hilarious. i'm going to make oprah buy us lunch. so the waiter comes over and he
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say says, i said, oh, this woman right over there has been kind enough to take care of our check. then we walked. we got a free lunch. that's where it started. >> that is so funny. >> so it wasn't the academy awards. i always thought it was the academy awards. >> i'm going to do that to someone. >> a long mystery. >> dine and dash. >> let's go to michael's and do that. joining us now, alexi giannoulias running for obama's old senate seat joining us on the set today. >> new poll numbers out fascinating on whether barack obama will help or hurt your campaign. illinois voters are split right now. what's the problem with the president's standing in your state. >> the polling we've seen, the president is very popular in illinois.
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he's our son, so to speak. people love him. they believe him. they trust him. are they thrilled with every decision that's been made? of course not. we have unemployment in illinois of just under 10%. there's frustration, anger everywhere. in illinois people trust his leadership and want to give him a shot to really succeed. >> what do you think has happened over the past couple years? you're running in an environment where voters are angry everywhere. the poll we showed up on the screen showed that more illinois voters would vote to express displeasure with the president and support for the president. what has happened in the two years since he was inaugurated? >> i think there's been this economic collapse that has devastated so many families that you don't start looking at who is to blame, who really started this. you look up and see these people are in power, i don't have a home. my brother and i, neither of us
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have jobs. so they're responsible. it's a tuf anger, a genuine anger. we see it throughout the state of illinois. wait a second, you promised change and hope. it's not here yet. i think it's a difficult thing to talk about. but the administration has done some great things that they don't get credit for. that's the reality. >> mike? >> there's been a lot of talk in illinois back and forth in circles about your family bank that collapsed in the spring. what do you run into when you go down state when employment is much higher than in cook county in chicago when people confront you and say, your own family bank failed? how can you be a united states senator? how can you succeed at that? >> i tell them that's exactly why i should be in the u.s. senate. unfortunately in washington, d.c. you don't have enough folks who actually had to work in a family business, how to make payroll, how to hire or fire someone, deal with competition. this is a community bank my father started 30 years ago.
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it was not some fly-by-night company. it was his whole life. he's helped thousands of people achieve the american dream, buy their first home, their first strip mall. he understands the importance of access to capital. >> so what happened? >> when you're a commercial real estate lender and the market drops by 30% or 40%, you'll see hundreds of community banks, over 840 banks, that fall down. unlike, by the way, the wall street banks that got tens of billions of dollars that were engaging in cdo, structure investment vehicles, derivatives, these were commercial lenders. there was no help for that. that's why on the same day that my father's business was forced to close their doors, seven banks in illinois alone were forced to close their doors. this is an enormous problem. >> systemic. >> let me ask you about this. in "the chicago tribune" there's a story reporting that you took a tax break you didn't deserve
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and that you reported working hundreds of hours at your family bank in 2006 but actually left in 2005. you were able to take a $2.7 million tax deduction last year because of those hours you reported working. is that the case? is this article correct? >> that's out of "the chicago tribune" this morning? >> politics in chicago is not easy. the reality of it is i've paid over $2 million in taxes over the last five years, made my taxes public to everyone, unlike my opponent who keeps his taxes hermetically sealed in a closet so no one can come and see him. all my information is out there. >> if your information is out in the open, did you take a tax break that you didn't deserve? >> no. i paid my taxes. i got a refund because of the loss of a family business. i said that with that money, i would give it back to charity. >> we don't -- we haven't dug down deep in the issue. it seems to me the bot 2078 line
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"the tribune" is asking did you work at the bank in 2006 or not? >> and the answer -- i've been consistent from the very beginning -- is yes. >> quickly, before we go, what is the number one issue as you go door-to-door, knocking on doors across illinois, what is the issue you keep hearing from people in illinois? >> it's incredible. without fail, it's jobs. people who have lost their jobs and the people who actually have them are so scared that they're next, they don't know what to do or how to act. >> mike, you don't need to take polls. everybody out there talking to americans comes back here, jobs, jobs, jobs. >> whether on the outh side of chicago or bloomington illinois or rockford, illinois, everyone is scared about their company closing down, getting released. these are folks who have been working there for 10, 15, 20 years. >> all right. alexi giannoulias, thank you.
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alexi will debate his opponent mark kirk on "meet the press" on to being 10th. wheel be back with governor tim pawlenty straight ahead on "morning joe." e get along ♪ ♪ yeah, we really do - ♪ and there's nothing wrong - [ bird squawks ] ♪ with what i feel for you ♪ i could hang around till the leaves are brown and the summer's gone ♪ [ announcer ] when you're not worried about potential dangers, the world can be a far less threatening place. take the scary out of life with travelers insurance... and see the world in a different light.
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. 47 past the hour. with us now, republican governor of minnesota tim pawlenty. good to have you back on the show. >> let's start by talking minnesota. you've got some flooding up there. what's going on? >> joe, thanks forcing asking. our first responders, emt, national guard and others doing a fabulous job responding. a lot of housing damage and infrastructure damage. the recovery has been excellent so far. we want to keep it that way. we appreciate the response of neighbors, communities and those first responders. >> fantastic. let's talk about 2012. there's been a little bit of buzz around lately that you were
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making early news in the run for president. >> we were in new hampshire and hearing serious buzz about that. >> i'm finishing my time as governor of minnesota and helping out the 2010 elections. as to 2012 i'll decide in early january and february. as part of that we're moving around the country trying to help other candidates and spread the message. we'll think about 2012 after 2010. >> you can say that. i'm wondering as you help other candidates, are you considering it or are the people that i'm talking to behind the scenes absolutely wrong that you are planning to run for president? >> it is something i've been thinking about, mika. i'm open to it. but i haven't finally decided that yet and probably won't until january or february. >> okay. we've got a new poll out showing americans are still very concerned about the track that
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america is on. what would president pawlenty do to reverse that trend? >> here in minnesota and across the country we're proud of our quality of life, joe. as you mentioned before the break, it is all about the economy. most people's pathway to a good lifestyle and quality of life is about having a job or an economic opportunity. we've got to do the things that encourage not discourage our job providers, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, people who add employees, grow businesses. if you talk to them they'll tell you pretty clearly what it takes for them to feel confident and to feel like they have en koorn encouragement to do more, not less. this is not rocket science. these are people that run businesses across the country. they're concerned about health care costs, workforce training and development. thank you for spending this week focused on our education system in the country. that's a really important issue. those are some of the things as a nation we need to address. >> colin powell yesterday kept talking about exciting things going on in minneapolis as far
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as education goes. we don't here that much about it. we certainly hear about what's going on in new york, what's going what was general powell talking about in minneapolis when it came to education reform? >> well, as a number of things going on if i might brag for a quick second. minnesota has the heist a.c.t. scores in the country. we took some world science and math tests in the 19 nooints, as if we were a country by ourselves. came in 18th or 19th. now we've moved up to top ten in the world. we took that same test just a year and a half ago. here's the story here and it repeats itself across the country. you come from an advantage background, our school results are pretty good. if you come from an air of concentrated socio economic disadvantage, it's pretty bad. the number one determining factor of how a child is going to do in school is their family situation. but the most important school related factor in how they're going to do in school is this. the quality and effectiveness and preparedness of their teachers.
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and i applaud the work that everybody is doing around the country to try to focus on that issue. mayor bloomberg, arne duncan and president obama even on these issues have done some good things. minnesota, we are the first state in the nation statewide to offer performance pay for teachers. >> that's great. >> i want to ask you about the direction of the republican party. and for example, last night on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell," 10:00 eastern time. >> are we talking about levi again? >> no. charlie crist was talking about, and he used this phrase, reasonable republicans. do you think some of the tea party candidates are reasonable republicans, and i guess spfrkally i ask about christine o'donnell. is she a reasonable candidate? >> well, i think in that case, mika, she was selected by the republican voters of delaware in an open and fair primary. i know people are concerned about some of her comments and she's addressing those and we'll know more about that as it comes out. from my standpoint if a state in an open and fair process picks
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somebody as their candidate, from a republican standpoint, i'm going to give that person deference and say you are part of the team. we're with you. you know, there's going to be circumstances where things come in with her or other people that they're going to have to address. as she's trying to do. but when the people of delaware pick their candidate in an open and fair process, i think the rest of the party says you're now on the team and we're going to help you. >> that would be a candidate you'd want to personally reach out and help? >> i have. i have. i have actually endoersd her. i think a week or so after that primary. i've known mike castle. he's an honorable and good person. he's somebody that i have a lot of respect for. it was a fair fight in an open primary and he lost. >> governor pawlenty, thank you so much. of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of minnesota who were affected by the flooding up there. we thank you for -- we wish you had been here on set, but we certainly understand you needed to stay up there and tend to the matters of minnesota. we hope to see you on set very
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soon. >> thank you, governor. >> thanks for having me on. bob woodward next on "morning joe." his new book is out "obama's wars." we'll talk about it. ♪ i hate suburbia and the bourgeoi-sie ♪ ♪ but i really love my bank ♪ i hate-- didn't quite catch that last bit. i said i really love my bank. right... is there a problem ? it's not really raging, man. uh, we were hoping for more raging ? well, you said write from the heart. yeah... don't do that. at ally, you'll love our online savings account. named the best of 2010 by money magazine. ally. do you love your bank ? got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting. >> daddy... ok! ok, here you go.
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♪ grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you ♪ is to love... some people call us frick and frack. we do finger painting. this is how grandpa and i roll. ♪ and i do [ pins fall ] grandma's my best friend. my best friend ever. my best friend ever. ♪ [ laughing ] [ boy laughs ] ♪ to know, know, know you after this we're gonna get ice cream. can we go get some ice cream? yeah. ♪ and i do ♪ and i do ♪ and i do tomorrow, former florida governor jeb bush will be with us. joe sat down with him.
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he had harsh words for the current governor charlie crist. coming up next here, bob woodward to discuss the new book "obama's wars." we'll be right back. [ advisor 1 ] what do you see yourself doing one week,
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bob woodward, you know, has written this book called "obama's wars." and it's all about inside the white house and president obama and the war and all of that sort
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of stuff. this bob woodward is always writing books. you know what i mean? works for "the washington post." and he's always -- i just wish he'd mind his own business frankly. he wrote a book about the previous president, bob woodward did, call "not so curious george." it was a big hit. >> the george bush jokes continue. >> welcome back to "morning joe." top of the hour. >> good book, joe. you were reading it yesterday. >> would you do me a favor? >> yes. what is it. what can i do? >> call me richard, okay? will you just please? >> are you sure? >> will you call me richard? >> one of the -- i mean, this book takes you inside the white house. takes you inside war planning to an extent that no other work you're ever going to read does. and one of the vignettes that, joe, you were alluding to is ambassador holbrooke, prior to his appointment asked the president of the united states, could you please do me a favor.
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the president called him dick holbrooke. smart guy. could you please do me a favor, president. could you call me richard. >> you just don't do that. >> it looks like maybe perhap ooze. >> how did that end for him? >> well, the end -- >> he didn't call him anything, did he? he didn't want him around. >> he called him long distance. >> joining us now, associate editor of the "washington post" and author of "obama's wars," bob woodward. good to have you in. some great stories like that in the book, but also some overall, i think, insight about how this white house is working through these separate wars. >> it seems to me that let's start with what the president said about the war. it seems that he gets the big problem, as does leon panetta that the cancer is not in afghanistan. the cancer is in pakistan. >> isn't that so true? and that's a theme throughout all of this and, of course, they really never figure out how to leverage or coerce pakistan to
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really get serious about the safe havens for al qaeda and the taliban insurgency. there are really no al qaeda in afghanistan. >> they still haven't figured it out. it may be a problem that can't be resolved because as leon panetta said, if you have al qaeda members and taliban members driving in trucks over the border to kill americans and afghans are waving them through, we're not going to win that war. >> it is so -- go back to vietnam where there were sanctuaries in cambodia, laos and so forth. and it's very frustrating and searing for the soldiers who are on the ground who say, oh, yeah, you can't go past that line. now it turns out that leon pa
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net thaer netta, the director of the cia has a secret army of 3,000 called the counterterrorist pursuit teams. these are afghans that are actually engaged in all kinds of operations in afghanistan but are doing cross border operations into pakistan now. >> speaking of leon panetta, your book describes in vivid detail how he got off to a very rocky star with the last cia director, michael hayden, who at one point, after watching panetta's first day of testimony picked up a phone and leveled a threat that leon panetta listened to. >> yes, it was very interesting. panetta earlier, before being appointed by obama, had said some things suggesting that the cia tortured in these interrogations. and this really said hayden, who was then the cia director off and he heard at the confirmation hearings, hayden suggests -- or
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panetta suggests this again and he called and said if you don't walk that back, we are going to have the embarrassing situation of the current director at the cia contradicting the incoming cia director and then panetta backed off in the confirmation. >> the next day, kid bond made him back off and then rubbed the salt in slowly and deeply into panetta's wounds. >> want to ask you about general colin powell. we had him on the show yesterday. there's a quote in here. powell says you don't have to punt with this. you are the commander in chief. these guys work for you because they are unanimous in their advice doesn't make it right. there are other generals. there's only one commander in chief. tell us the context. >> this is most interesting. obama, quite naturally, i think, any president, democrat or republican, would use powell as a consultant. and he calls him in privately. and this is at the moment
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obama's last year is making the decision about how many troops to send in to afghanistan and what the strategy is going to be. and obama is confronting these four or five blocks of granite as they are called, the military and hillary clinton saying you've got to give the generals everything they want. so at this moment, powell comes in and says, no, mr. president. you are in charge. because they are unanimous doesn't make them right. you do it your way. and i think it kind of fortified obam to a certain extent. he didn't give the jernls all that they want. but -- and this will go back and forth because as mike was saying, there's so much detail. there are 70 pages in the book, literally, of almost verbatim nsc meetings. so obama says this.
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hillary says this. panetta has this view, general jones. vice president biden who does not hold back his views, and you look at it and some people are going to say, as the white house has said, this shows a very determined, focused president. other people are reading it and saying, well, he really isn't all in on this war. he does not have that kind of will to win. he's not out there saying, yes, we can as he did in his own campaign. >> mike, talking about general powell, i thought it so interesting as i was reading the book and at times getting distressed by how functional this process was that general powell would make these guest appearances. and every time we did it was like a grown-up walked into the room. there was another time where he said we don't have to listen to the far left and give them nothing. and you don't have to listen to the far right and give him
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everything. your commander in chief. and he said, and don't listen to the media. take your time. time and time again, colin powell will win in there and sort of at least reminded me what a grown-up looks like when walking through this type of process. >> especially as you read the book and you see detail after detail pointing to people like general jones and tom donland who are preoccupied with keeping others out of the room, out of the line of sight of the president. they want to give the president their advice directly and not have it impeded by someone else. they feel threatened, clearly. but the biggest thing in the book that bothered me and bothered me deeply is that here we are, the united states, in the middle of a very volatile and dangerous region. afghanistan, pakistan, india. and everyone knows the tensions
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between india and pakistan. pakistan, our ally. there is a passage in the book about the terror networks, the hokani network in afghanistan. mullah omar thought to be hiding within pakistan. the pakistani intelligence chief reaches over for a chocolate chip cookie and talking about mullah omar's whereabouts and why we can't locate him. and he said, the intelligence agency in pakistan could pick up mullah omar the way i just picked up this chocolate chip cookie. are they our ally? >> well, this is one of the cold showers for barack obama. two days after he was elected in 2008, the intel people say, okay, now we're going to let the president-elect in on the real secrets. and they go into a room, one of these things called the skiff, secure compartmented information
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facility where supposedly no one can bug what's going on. and they tell barack obama pakistan is living a lie. and they're our ally when they want to be. they support these terrorist groups. they give safe haven. and they actually lay out and say, look. the problem here is the quetta sura in pakistan and then obam athen senator, says, well, what are we doing about that? and the intel chief says not much. and you see for the last 18 months they've been kind of upping the ante going after pakistan. but again, it's not enough. and i asked barack obama about this. he was saying, well, the pakistanis are doing more counterterrorism, which is true. and i just said, but not enough. and he said exactly. and this is how do you get an
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ally that's so vital to this war to really get on our side. because if we could eliminate these safe havens, al qaeda would be in monstrous trouble. they are in big trouble now. and the taliban leadership would be, you know, where are they going to go? they can't go into afghanistan now. so it is -- now the other thing which i wanted to mention is this is -- this is obama up close. you really see what he said, what his emotions are. he gets angry. he says i'm done doing this. they are stiffing me. the military is cooking the b k books all the time. and it's not -- if you look at it, it's not the spun version that we get from this white house or any white house. it's real life in realtime, and
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obama is -- you have to give him credit. intellectually engaged, he addresses every problem. encourages joe biden to go after the idea of 40,000 troops. and biden is in there, which is natural for him, like a hammer, pounding, pounding, making very logical, potent arguments. and the intellectual engagement, if you were looking at it, i think you'd give it an "a." and the question is obama looks at it intellectually and realizes it's a dreary situation in the afghanistan war. it's violent. we are not in control of it. we have to deal with president karzai who now is out in public yesterday crying. it is a situation, where's the international support. where is the support in our country. so obama sees this.
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he's limited. general petraeus who is in char charge. with some sort of progress, we'll get more time. now that is not resolved. >> bob, one of the big headlines over the last week as these excerpts started to come out was a white house in chaos. infighting over what to do in afghanistan. robert gibbs came out late last week and said, no if you read the whole book it was a white house having a healthy, deliberative debate about what to do. which of those portraits is more accurate? >> that's a great question. it's not one of those things where you can say it's a or b. you can read it either way. depends on your politics. depends on what your expectation is. and this is the complication in this total universe portrait. and that is it lends itself to
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alternative analysis. and some people are going to look at it one way. now one thing that's not been picked up, which i think would interest you joe and mika very much is you read it and you realize obama doesn't like the war. he says, you know, gee, i'd like to just send some trainers. nothing would make rahm, rahm emmanuel, his chief of staff, happier than if i said no to the 30,000. so people who don't like the war could read this and say, well, obama gets it. why aren't we getting out? why did we add 30,000 troops? where is the political and moral commitment that he seems to get intellectually. so very complicated, as obama is complicated. >> what do you dedeuce as the answer to that question? >> that we're going to see.
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and remember petraeus. you have to give him -- the hero of iraq. he went into iraq at a time when it was violent, when it looked almost hopeless and petraeus came in and said hard but not hopeless. and now we're in a situation where obama holds iraq up as a model for getting out. so we don't know. there are going to be reviews. there are things happening all the time. >> isn't the answer political? he got boxed in by his generals. he didn't like the war. the generals -- we were talking about it in realtime. you could tell. petraeus was boxing him in. mullen was boxing him in. in fact, you reveal that petraeus and admiral mullen actually lied to the president, cooked the books on a war gang seeing what would happen if you put 20,000 troops in there instead of 30,000 or 40,000.
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>> it's complex, but when biden's alternative of 20,000 troops was presented and admiral mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs just said, well, we're not presenting that to the president now, his vice chairman, general cartwright who had works on it with biden said wait a minute. the law says, as a member of the joint chiefs, i get to present my alternative view. obama heard about this. they presented it. but then they said we conducted this war game and it shows that it's not viable. and the president's in there saying, hey look. the war game shows that it won't work and then they push the button that no president can -- just the blocks of granite military come in and they say in no ambiguous way, if you do this, we're going to have mission failure. >> right. >> and no president likes to
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hear mission failure. >> that's where, like, at the end of this book, that's where they are because general betray us is running afghanistan now. if he tries to take too many troops out next year, guess what? they just move the granite forward a year. democratic president go ahead. take the troops out, democratic president. you will be responsible for mission failure, and that is unfortunately what a problem every democratic president faces. >> cartwright, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff comes across nearly hero nick this book. >> he will not be pushed around. >> but the frustrating thing, just reading it, you can sense what must be the president's frustration with the options presented to him. you've read the book. you wrote the book. over a series of months asking for at least three options on troop strength in afghanistan. and they basically come over a period of three months with basically just one option. continually just one option.
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the frustration level. >> and the president in these secret meetings in "the situation room," the basement of the white house said, look. you promised. where is it. the military says no and even gates, the secretary of defense finally went push by the president and said, yes, mr. president, we owe you that option. it never came. and so here is the interesting future issue here. the president looked at a memo, secret memo that gates wrote and said we can just do 30,000 at this at this time. gates said at one of the meetings, well, we could thin out forces in 18 to 24 months. obama seized on those two. the statement and the memo and said, okay. i'm going to design my strategy, which is 30,000. and we're going to start withdrawing in some form now nine months from now. >> go ahead, barnacle.
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>> the whole issue is of withdrawal and troop strength is dependent on dialogue between afghanistan and the united states, obviously. how is it that with the publication of this book, with everything that is in there about ambassador karl eikenberry's situation in afghanistan, his relationship with karzai, how does he continue as ambassador? how do we have a dialogue with the afghans when in this book, clearly, you know, karzai is a duplic titous duplicitous, perhaps corrupt leader of a country. >> and is on his medication/off his medication in a way that has alarmed some people. look. lots of people are going to be hassing for the door here in the next couple of days or even months. rahm emmanuel, who plays an important role in this book, in this secret account because two days after obama becomes president, petraeus is in there
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saying, okay, we want all these troops. and i'm going to start working on it. and rahm steps in with his hammer and says, general, i know you are doing your job. i did not hear the president of the united states make a decision on that. so rahm is going. general jones, the national security adviser is going. eikenberry at some point is going to go. the interesting and overlooked ghost in the machine here is bob gates, the secretary of defense. >> so interesting. >> he wants out. he agreed to stay for a year. he agreed to stay -- >> he's been wanting to go home for years. >> and they keep pulling him back. >> at one point when obama meets with him privately he says i want you to stay the whole term which would be four years. >> poor guy. >> gates feels preempted and actually told people he felt obama was acting like a rug merchant.
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so you have the secretary of defense in the war, halfway out the door thinking about washington state with his wife becky where they are very anxious to get back. so who is going to do this and when they are debating this in the white house it was fascinating. some of obama's top aides started saying, okay now. we add 30,000 troops, as the president has decided. there's going to be this review which is coming up in december. they're going to start withdrawing in july. in 2012, when obama presumably is going to run for re-election, who is going to be here? and it turns out, well, gates is going to be gone, petraeus will probably be gone, mcchrystal is now gone. the chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mullen, will be gone. and tom donland, the deputy national security adviser says, my god, what are we getting this
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guy into, obama? >> bob woodward, stay with us. we can talk more ahead. he's running for the mayor of wasilla. first, levi johnston needs to survive his appearance on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." bob, it was -- >> it was ugly. >> it was. >> lawrence o'donnell. >> it's hard to watch. >> i am doing that show tonight. >> watch out. >> i don't think the same thing will happen to you. but you never know. levi johnston on "the last word" coming up. [ female announcer ] it can creep up on you. dry skin.
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welcome back to "morning joe" on wednesday morning. just got the update in from the national hurricane center. we're not dealing with tropical storm nicole. still a tropical depression moving into florida this morning. the heavy rain in miami at the west palm beach. eventually this entire mess will work its way up the eastern seaboard. tomorrow will not be an easy commute from d.c. up to through boston. airports doing great in miami so far. i think strm the day if you can avoid getting in the air tomorrow, the big cities on the eastern seaboard, try to do so. forecast for today looks okay. rain arrives in d.c. after about 2:00. tomorrow is the day with the rain, the thunderstorms, the gusty winds up and down the east coast. how much rain are we talking about? kind of almost like a nor'easter type system you'd get in the springtime. we're talking potential in areas of phillie. up to a half a foot of rain. we'll be back here on "morning joe" with the one and only erin burnett. recently, sharp made a major leap forward
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let's get a check on business before the bell with cnbc's erin burnett live at the new york stock exchange. what are you looking at today? >> i'm enjoying a day of sunshine. it was so foul yesterday. and right now -- all right. here's the thing. the real story in the market right now is everyone betting on the fed. things are getting better
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slowly. i think the fed will flow a whole bunch more money in here and that will make things better. i don't know. what that means in practices is gold prices keep hitting record highs. gold record high again this morning. now north of 1300 an houns solidly. holding in there. not just gold. silver and platinum. anything that's a metal that's seen as precious or valuable. that's where all the money is going right now. the latest data on the economy this morning was on mortgages. mortgage rates, record lows. we've never seen them this low. and, yet, all in. you are still seeing a drop in demand for mortgages. new home demand slightly higher. refinancing was down significantly. >> it is unbelievable, mike barnacle, how low mortgage rates are right now. unbelievable what you can get a home for. >> it is the time to buy. >> over 35 years. >> why aren't more people refinancing? >> yeah, it's a good question. >> what's your news on acela today? >> part of the reason people aren't refinancing is a lot of
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them are underwater on the mortgages. just because the value of the home is less than the value of the mortgage. then they can't refi. it's a weird cycle going on. amtrak, i thought you all would love this. you are frequent amtrak users. >> sure. >> yes, we are. >> only in america -- >> for the kind of service we get there. it's the service. people are so kind. >> service with a smile. >> there are wonderful conductors on amtrak. this i must say is rather ridiculous. they have come out with an announcement that by the year 2040 -- simm sorry. by the year 2040 there's going to be a fast train between new york and washington. >> watch out, chinese. watch out. >> 2040, okay? >> hold your breath because here we come. >> are you kidding me, erin? the chinese are laying down tens of thousands of miles of track for light-speed rail and we may be able to get service between new york and washington by 2040? >> i am really not. in fact, not only is this the headline, but they held a giant ceremony yesterday at
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philadelphia's 30th street station, too nouns it with pomp and circumstance. >> 2040. now. happy days are here again. >> and from 162 minutes to 96 minutes if, you know it happens. >> that's worth waiting 30 years for. and that's a big if. that's a big if. capital, stars, bold. >> erin -- >> i'm sorry. sometimes you have to call it out. that's ridiculous. >> thank you so much, erin burnett. coming up next, the interview heard round the world, willie. >> oh, wow. >> levi johnston didn't know what he was getting himself into last night. he sat down across the table from lawrence o'donnell. lawrence had the last word. levi didn't have a whole lot of words. australia's top model. i'm sure you have been following closely. she makes a dramatic announcement. but there was a problem. a very -- >> she's so pretty, what? >> a very large problem. >> plus, more with bob woodward. >> she's so happy. what could go wrong?
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how your doing on the ged? >> it's ready to go. i imagine in the next month it will be done. wrapped up. >> you are working on it? >> yeah. >> next time you get that ged question between now and then -- >> i can't wait to get it. >> i have two words for you. abraham lincoln. okay? that puts it away. you're done, okay? never graduated from high school. >> that's lawrence o'donnell on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." trying to be nice at the end. >> that was the nice part. >> he was interviewing levi johnston who is running for
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mayor of wasilla, alaska. >> he did an interview with levi johnton. >> he did an interview. he did the real interview. as a candidate, lawrence felt that levi should have to answer tough questions on the central issues of our day. >> oh, my gosh. >> what's your position on global warming? do you believe it's manmade or not? >> no, i don't. >> you don't believe it's manmade or you do believe it's manmade? >> i don't believe it's manmade. >> do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepted scientific principle or one of several theories. >> you are kind of getting over my head on these things here. yeah, i don't really know how to answer that question. >> in afghanistan, do you believe additional troops, u.s. troops will solve the problem there? >> i have no idea. >> okay. again, do you thing pakistani government is protecting al qaeda within its borders? >> like i said, i don't watch a
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whole lot of tv. >> he doesn't watch tv. how your supposed to know about afghanistan. >> this is a warning for bob woodward. lawrence o'donnell is tough. you're going there tonight, right? >> yes, i'm glad i had a preview so i'll know. >> now you know what you're dealing with. >> wasilla, it's your choice. >> joe, i know you are a big fan of australia's next top model. >> oh, my gosh. >> it's my favorite. i watch it on satellite. >> she cries. i even -- >> it's so stad. you go through a whole season. we get down to the finale. you have two young women. the winner goes on to a lifetime of fame and riches. the host -- the host of australia's "next top model" is sarah murdoch. incidentally the daughter in law of mr. rupert murdoch. she made a dramatic -- >> she has made this woman so happy. >> dramatic announcement. unfortunately it was the wrong
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announcement. >> so the winner, and australia's next top model for 2010 is -- >> it's you kelsey. >> i'm feeling a bit sick about this. no, i'm so sorry about this. oh, my god. i don't know what to say. this is not -- this was a complete accident. i'm so sorry. it's amanda. i'm so sorry. it was fed to me wrong. >> it's okay. >> it's okay. >> this is what happens when you
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have live tv, folks. i'm so sorry. >> remember "saturday night live." with the -- never mind. now the winner is the winner, but the loser now is going to win because the sympathy vote, as it should be, is going to go for that moment she thought she had it and then they took it away. >> bob, bob, this is just the cooler. >> no, we watch the show together friday night eating popcorn, bob and i. >> the loser, they said, was the winner. they gave her 25 grand and a trip to new york. >> we've got to run here. >> it was hard enough to watch. then to hear bob woodward analyze it. >> why? >> you're better than this. >> she thinks you're above
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australian reality tv. >> my sympathy goes out to her. doesn't your -- >> bob -- no, she's heartless. bob stands around the cooler like the rest of us. >> australia one of the strongest allies in obama's wars. some connection there. up next, much more with bob woodward on a much more serious topic, his book "obama's wars" and naacp president ben jealous will be here as well. ♪ i love my grandma. i love you grandma. grandma just makes me happy. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package. grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪ grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you
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at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference. we're still fighting for equality. one of the biggest barriers to achieving equality is the fact that so many kids in our country can't get a great education. >> this is a civil rights issue, isn't it? >> if we care about justice, equality in this country, we have to care about fixing education. >> that was singer john legend tell our education nation town hall on sunday that education is an issue of civil rights. let's talk to ben jealous now. the president and ceo of the naacp. do you agree with john legend on
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that? >> yes. >> are you excited about what you've seen this past week? >> yeah, and i was really excited we make a point about talking about good public schools. so often we just forget that there are great schools in this country. so they talked about jack brit high school. it's a great school. that's a great principal. it gives folks hope. most of our kid are always going to be in these schools. we should focus on what makes a great school. >> we've been talking to bob woodward about his remarkable new book that's been detailing the deliberations about the afghanistan war. $2 billion spent every week on fighting a war in afghanistan that actually is being launched against us for the most part from pakistan. has the naacp taken a position on the afghanistan war yet? >> we have not. we did from the very beginning on the war in iraq. what i know is most people in the naacp, like most in this country, the country they want to build most is this one.
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and it's painful in this country to see schools in such disrepair, see so many people jobless and to know we're spending so much money, frankly -- >> $2 billion a week. is that a position that maybe the naacp would come out on? >> i have a feeling as we get to next summer, when we get for our big gathering that, yes, there will be a very forceful debate on that issue. one of the things that gives a lot of people because is that they know that so many great countries have fought wars in that country. and not won. and just lost. from the greeks to the russians. >> and it's still happening. bob there was a point in the book. it caught a lot of attention where you asked the president a question. he came back and said the united states could sustain a terrorist attack. tell us about that because you -- >> this is an interesting choice of words. >> you were talking about that off camera. you were fascinated by the response. >> he had said as a senator and
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a presidential candidate that we can absorb terrorist attack. actually he had not said that this is the first time he said it. now on one level, we can. it's just -- it's very unusual for the president to talk that way and lots of republicans are quite upset about it. quite honestly, i think he -- it was a warning from the president of the united states that we can't always stop these. it's been nine years since 9/11. and one is going to get through. we're not going to have zero defe defects. and he lives -- i mean, one of the things when you work on a project like this, you try to -- what's the road the president walks? and every morning he gets that intel briefing and it's -- this group in pakistan, this group in somalia. these people in the united states who may have al qaeda connections.
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it is a cascade of warning. >> his biggest fear, which he told me was a nuke in an american city. he said that is what he worries about the most. they conducted a secret exercise where simulated nuke attack in indianapolis and how the high level people in the government worked on this. what was strange is they didn't include the public, the congress or the media. and so it was kind of often a bubble. now we know if something like that happens if n any city in the united states, there's going to be chaos. and the government is going to have to deal with that, not just with themselves. >> what the president is concerned about is what dick cheney was concerned about. isn't that fascinating? it's just two very different approaches. >> yeah, well, it's -- i think
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they are both realists in that sense. that, should it happen, and in the simulation they ran last spring about indianapolis, thousands of people were killed. there were questions about food and water and communication. it would be chaos. and in the history books, 9/11 might be a footnote. >> hey, ben, how do we rebuild our cities? how do we rebuild our infrastructure? how do we rebuild our schools? how do we move forward and bring all of americans into the 21st century workforce if we have this constant specter of fear over our heads of a looming nuclear attack from a terror group? >> i think fear is something we can handle in this country. i grew up during the cold war. we had to jump under our desk like every six days it seemed like. so we are a tough people. with that said, we've got to make our cities a priority. we've got to make our schools
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and the rural areas a real focus. this is a country that expects to lead the world in college graduation. we're not doing that right now. and that's what i was talking about. people see all this money going overseas and they see school systems just shutting down. the last town that i lived in before i took this job, 6 out of 10 schools are slated to shut down next fall. and that's hard. i'm not sure how much more than people can take in this country. that's why we have this big rally this weekend because people are frustrated. they want to see the congress and senate really focus on building this country. getting us out of the great recession the way we got out of the great depression by creating jobs and investing in what we want to be actively and not passively investing in what we're slowly becoming. passively investing in incarceration rates. passively investing in more foster care. pafsly investing in -- >> billions of dollars. >> right. >> and, mike, we wanted ben to be on when bob was talking because these issues are connected. >> obama agrees with you, and in
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these meetings about afghanistan and terrorism, he repeatedly says i want to do the domestic projects. that's what i was elected to do. and he takes a memo from his budget director at one point and waves it around and says the afghan war if we do it for ten years is going to cost roughly a trillion dollars. and he said i am not doing that. now noble, focuses, but the question is you, ask anyone in the military from the lowest private up to the top generals and admirals and they'll say, and it is an axiom of war, you can't do it on a timetable. you can't say i'm not doing five years or six years or ten years. you have to go. you can't -- we can't in this country be in a situation where we lose the war. >> on both levels, colin powell talking about this yesterday. we are lowering our expectations and standards instead of raising
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them. recruiting standards, educational standards and the country just does this. >> and we cannot be able to do wars on a timetable, but, bob, we also can't win a war in afghanistan because the commander in chief says the cancer is in another country. >> there's that, too. >> we're cutting and operating on the wrong body and we can't go into pakistan. >> well, we are more and more. and just keep yourself strapped in. >> great. bob woodward, thanks very much. "obama's war." >> we go from jumping under the tables to keeping ourselves strapped in. >> ben jealous, thank you as well. >> thank you, ben. up next, what have we learned today? sure i'd like to diversify my workforce, i just wish that all of the important information was gathered together in one place. [ printer whirs ] done.
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welcome back to "morning joe." tomorrow morning we've got jeb bush. >> that will be fun. >> that will be great. >> and what a great, great book. >> bob woodward. >> a great interview with bob woodward today. bob, i'd ask what you learned today but i have a feeling it has to do with australian reality tv. >> no, it's actually that there's so much in this war, there's so much in the obama administration unsettled. lots of people are going. what's the direction? there is a discomfort level
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which the polls show and it's not -- it's kind of on everything in obama land. and i suspect he's got to seize the reins somehow. >> mika? >> i am strapped in because i'm scared. i'm strapped in. >> mike? >> make my reservations to get to jalalabad to cover the american invasion in pakistan. >> how exciting. willie? >> i learned bob woodward was taking notes during the levi johnston/lawrence o'donnell interview for his appearance. >> look at lawrence. >> staggering. >> be afraid. be very afraid, bob. we talked about tampa fans earlier this morning. you got an e-mail explaining why no one goes to the rays games. >> know the facts. very high unemployment. no large corporations buy tickets for employees. large population on a fixed income. no mass transit. it's just tough to go to a game. don't blame us. >> cincinnati, ohio. not exactly beverly hills.